Cover1.gif (27046 bytes)

E p i c e n t r e
Issue 4

Dear David,


I reply to your letter of 2nd January regarding the abolition of stallion premiums. I am a breeder who is geographically remote from any show or stallion parade, so complete or limited abolition of such premiums is not relevant to the stallions used in my herd.

It is only on Exmoor and in the Midlands that any stallion parade or show is held where stallion premiums are awarded. For stallions from herds located outwith these areas transport costs and time taken make the exercise not only logistically uneconomic but illogical. In the future premiums awarded by the EPS at shows or stallion parades should be regarded in the same way as prizes given at any agricultural show and not in any way specially indicative of an approval of the Genetic Value of such a stallion by the EPS. This should be made clear to anyone participating.

There may be some confusion about the nature of premiums being discussed, this letter refers to the Stallion Premiums paid to stallions shown at Exford and in the Midlands. The point which I wished to make in the article “Breeding in the New Millenium” was that in order to solve the overuse of certain stallions, even into their old age, was to level the playing field by limiting the number of foals each stallion sired. To that end I proposed that the EPS pay premiums on the foals which pass inspection for the first 25 foals put forwards from each registered stallion, and thereafter the EPS pays no further premiums for the foals from that stallion. Here I am referring to foal premiums actually paid to the owners of the foal’s mothers.

So perhaps rather than funding stallion premiums, the EPS could abolish the stallion premiums awarded at certain shows and parades and use the funds to increase the foal premiums on the first 25 foals put forwards for inspection from that stallion.

As a Veterinary Surgeon my special field is Animal Reproduction and Genetics. My advice is that regarding the EPS providing unbiased advice on breed genetics we enter a situation where there are a number of problems:

  1. The constitution of the EPS does not cover such a matter.
  2. There is no officer of the EPS qualified to deal with animal genetics.
  3. There is no quick or easy answer to any potential breeder. Advice would depend upon, not only the genetic content of the breeders herd both collectively and as individual animals, but also upon the breeders budget, location, facilities, and objectives for his herd and the general objectives of the herd in relation to other breeders in the EPS.
However I see no harm, indeed it may be desirable that the breeders of larger herds participate in voluntary genetic study programmes and breeding schemes after seeking appropriate advice.

Regarding the production of a Stud Directory, I agree that the currently produced list is sufficient for the EPS.

I hope these comments are of some use in resolving matters.

Yours Sincerely

Alex. N. Copland